QCOW Image Format

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QEMU uses the QEMU Copy-On-Write (QCOW) files to store a disk image.

MIME types

File signature

QCOW files start with hexadecimal: 0x51 0x46 0x49 0xfb (ASCII: "QFI.")

File types

Currently there are versions of the QCOW format; version 1 and 2. Version 2 is the preferred format.


The QCOW format is used to store a disk image.


The QCOW2 format supports optional AES encryption

See also